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8 Tips for Families Visiting Acadia National Park

by Barbara Rogers

May 16, 2022

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National parks are more popular than ever before, especially for family travel, and Maine’s Acadia National Park is the eighth-most popular park in the country. With more than 3.5 million visitors a year, it outranks Yellowstone, so you can expect to share your vacation there with a lot of other families. These tips can help you get the most out of your adventures.



Buy your entrance pass in advance.

A pass is required for any park activity or attraction, including driving the Loop Road. Avoid a long wait at the entrance by buying it ahead.



Check the park website for closures.

Storms occasionally batter this northern coastline, causing road and trail closures. Avoid surprises if you check the conditions before you go.



Take the bus.

The handy Island Explorer buses operate daily on frequent loop routes that stop at all the attractions, trailheads, campgrounds and towns. Hopping on and off is much easier than jockeying for a parking space at each stop. Plus, if you’re not driving, you get to see the beautiful scenery you would otherwise miss.



Reserve ahead for Cadillac Mountain.

You won’t want to miss the views from the highest elevation on the Maine coast, but you will need a reservation to drive your car to the summit. Do this early or you might find all the slots taken.



Pick up Junior Rangers booklets.

By completing the activities and attending ranger nature programs, your kids can earn Junior Ranger badges and learn a lot about the natural environment. You can get these at visitor and nature centers and campgrounds.



Don’t miss the ranger programs.

You and your kids can learn about the park and its wildlife, go stargazing, take a guided nature hike, touch live sea creatures and even go on cruises with the help of the calendar of programs in planning your visit.



Go early or late to miss the crowds.

Traffic on the Loop Road is much lighter before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. Enjoy the long summer evenings in this northern latitude by packing a picnic dinner and starting your drive in the late afternoon.


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